'Comic books are a way for people to get away from the real world...

by tosca on Tuesday, October 25, 2011

...They don’t want to be reminded of wars or tragedies or economic catastrophes."
~ Mark D. White

In which Tosca discovers that her graphic novel reading experiences to date have been mere dabbling. Now, finally, she has an inkling of why people enjoy them so much. Can she got a w00t!

Sometimes, yes, I read graphic novels as a form of escapism, but just recently I've found that I read them to deliberately think about wars and tragedies and governments and ethics and other deep issues. I've since come to the conclusion that before October I merely 'dabbled in comics.' I had spent a fair bit of time trying to find authors, artists, styles, storylines and characters that I liked. Often, it was hit and miss. I'd like one of a part of a series but not the rest. Or I'd like a couple of titles people would recommend and turn my nose up at the rest. Then, earlier this month, I randomly picked up a Warren Ellis book in his The Authority series, and something clicked. Everything fell into place. It all made sense. And I haven't looked back since. If anything I've read 27 other titles/authors/artists/series in the last fortnight and am still waiting for more to arrive. So, thank you Monsieur Ellis.

This is a quick-ish post to say yes, I'm reading books, still. And lots of them. Only not romance novels, like I usually do, but graphic novels (3 in particular I've listed here) and a book that I had thought I would include in my romance enewsletter (maybe) and then saw the cover and went, 'OH. Oh. Eek. Nice nails.'

Honourable mention: Surrender to fire by Lora Leigh. I received an email alert that it was available for pickup and blithely popped on down to the library and found that I had to collect it from the front desk where it was being held away from prying eyes. The cover is...well, unambiguous, heh. Click on the link and you'll see what I mean. I can't even remember what romance enewsletter theme I was considering. I just remember seeing it on a list somewhere on the interwebs and thought it sounded like it would do. It may still. I've yet to read it :)

3. The Boys: Volume One by Garth Ennis - my first experience of anything by Ennis was a Kev Hawkins story that involved The Authority and it wasn't anything I could ever have prepared myself for. In a good way. (If Yaoi introduced me to frank depictions of male/male sex in graphic novels, then Ennis introduced me to the rather inventive (?) use of the F-word). If The Authority made me ask myself, 'World peace is all well and good but who keeps the superheroes in line?' then The Boys takes care of that burning question. Billy Butcher, Wee Hughie, The Female, The Frenchman and Mother's Milk are known as The Boys and they make sure superheroes keep their noses clean. Maybe it involves setting them straight. Maybe it involves a little bit more. Weirdly, my co-bus passengers enjoyed my reading this almost as much as I did as a few of them read it over my shoulder.

2. The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore - zombies! This series was recommended to me by Paul and I LOVE IT. Love it times ten. I broke one of my many self-imposed rules - Thou shalt read the book of the film first - and saw the tv series first and spent the whole season with hands clapped over my eyes, screaming, constantly squirming on the edge of my seat and generally loving the mix of suspense and horror. Unsure if you've seen the series but the silence of the world in the first episode? That stays with me even now. The graphic novels manage to impart a lot of the personal struggle the characters have that the series doesn't convey in the quite the same way. I read this particular volume on the bus ride home from work and got off at the other end thinking, 'Darn. I knew I should've requested them all in one hit.' So now I play the waiting game for the rest :)

1. The Authority by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch - which is a follow on from the Stormwatch series. Why The Authority? I initially started reading the books for the artwork and the storyline and got hooked by the moral and ethical questions such a superhero body makes me ask (such as 'Where do we draw the line? Who should have the power to decide how society will behave? How much leeway should they have? And who watches them watching us?'), and the action OHGOD the action! I stayed the distance, however, to watch the relationship between Apollo and The Midnighter (a pastiche of Batman). The Midnighter is my fav character, anyway, because he's the epitome of cool in my eyes. But the relationship between the two men? There's romance, love, tenderness and snarky humour galore between the couple. And the book where the world is so polluted that Apollo cannot stay on earth and must remain in the realm of the sun so he can recharge, with brief bouts down to earth to see/hold The Midnighter who sends up balloons as a way of letting Apollo know he misses him? Can anybody say HEARTBREAKING? I'm always a sucker for the romance, and it sure doesn't hurt that they get to kick a little butt (ok, a lot of butt) along the way. The Authority is my absolute top read for October 2011 and kickstarted my love of graphic novels. Before, I dabbled. Now, I'm a big girl with my pull ups, wow.


hmmmm *places some holds*

by Anonymous on October 25, 2011 at 11:31 PM. #

OH. Hmm. This might be where I point out that my taste? Is a figment of my imagination. I love these but somebody else might think this ain't what they're looking for O.O

by catatonia on October 26, 2011 at 7:59 AM. #

I'm so proud of you right now *beams*

by Kelly M on October 26, 2011 at 12:25 PM. #

I'm having such a blast! Have just finished the Freakangels series and, wow. Just WOW. Next up is a recommendation from Mr. Brown and it's Elephantment: Wounded Animals by Starkings. He brought in his copy for me to have a look at and I couldn't quite get my head around it. The whole time I kept pointing and saying, 'But Paul...it's an elephant...in clothes.' Or, 'But Paul...it's an elephant...and he's talking.' But it's Paul and he hasn't led me wrong yet, so I'm starting it tonight (in between quiz rounds) :P

by catatonia on October 26, 2011 at 5:20 PM. #

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